Poetry and Music
collections of lyrical whimsies
Airborne: An Anthology of the Real
compiled by Julie DiNisio and Christine Stoddard
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, the Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts, history, folklore, and other oddities through a variety of fiction and nonfiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite essays and articles from 2010 to 2012.
Before the Foundation of the World
written by Susan Weiner
Before the Foundation of the World examines the nature of good and evil in God’s creation. Using poetry and song lyrics, this collection offers a celebration of joy in response to God’s covenant with man. From Christmas poems to simple lullabies, the author paints a vivid picture of the incredible experience of wonder in a world of God’s design. An extended exchange in Appendix I with “The Father of Lies”(“Pater Mendaciorum”) and the promises of Christian faith reflects our reconciliation with God and explores the redemption of mankind in the face of radical evil. Journeying from the psychology of evil to the good news of the spirit, Before the Foundation of the World speaks to the ways of God, embodying gratitude and love as the foundation for mature Christian belief.
PRAISE FOR BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD:
“Before the Foundation of the World is poetry of the highest sort. It is a wonderful fusion of artistry and truth. It takes the reader to places where prose cannot go, into the mystery of the spirit where good and evil reside. Susan Weiner has created an enduring Christian testament that speaks to both believer and unbeliever. It is a triumph for her. I feel myself drawn back into her poetry again and again.”
—Curtis J. Young, senior pastor, Church of the Atonement, Silver Spring, MD
“Poetry challenges us to see things in a different way. Susan Weiner’s lovely poems lead us to meditate on God’s love and greatness, His Son’s birth and ultimate sacrifice, and of His mysterious workings in our lives and in the world around us. In these verses, biblical events come alive, urging us to see the stars and the stable, hear the thunder of the stormy seas, feel the sand beneath our feet, smell the spices, taste the honey—and marvel at what God has done for us.”
—Anne Morse, author (with Charles Colson) of Burden of Truth and (with Congressman Frank R. Wolf ) of Prisoner of Conscience
“Like fine cuisine, Susan Weiner’s Before the Foundation of the World is rich food for the soul not to be devoured hastily, but savored slowly and deliberately. Powerful images engage all the senses, transporting the reader back to biblical times, bringing to life the realities of good and evil and the ultimate victory God has given us in Christ. This is poetry for our time—a beautiful declaration of God's glory and His unfathomable love for His people.”
—Joanne Hamilton, former president, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Women’s Ministries
Flight: of butterflies and robins and other winged dreams
written by Anne Poarch
illustrated by Sander Gibson
Flight: of butterflies and robins and other winged dreams is a very personal collection of forty-eight poems. This thoughtful work chronicles the voice of a maturing young woman as she reawakens her heart and soul to the beauty of God’s natural world. She uncovers love, grief, self-awareness, and a happiness for which she is utterly unprepared. Bridging an out-of- doors childhood and the death of her father at age eleven, to a motherhood in which she longs to share all of nature with her young sons, the pages will surprise you and inspire you. To open these poems is to take a walk through the seasons, to pause and reflect on the intersection of the spiritual and physical, the love of parent and child. Placed mostly within the backdrop of Richmond, Virginia, words are arranged, not by academic instruction, but by feeling and emotion. Poems are shared with a voice of appreciation and awe, all the while wondering if the ephemeral dreams of love, joy, and beauty can be sustained. Or is that the lesson the young woman learns from her butterfly? As Anne Poarch expresses, none of us need try and hold beauty, because we all carry her in our hearts and souls.
The Grit and Joy of Being
by Anne Poarch
There is grit and joy in life.
You can eat a peach,
taste the soft silky sweetness of the fruit,
and still catch a flake of pit in your mouth.
I’ll take the unwelcome to get at the heart.
Come and visit the orchard with me;
We’ll shake the trees and give out bushels of joy.
(“Grit & Joy” by Anne Poarch)
PRAISE FOR THE GRIT AND JOY OF BEING:
"Within the interplay of nature and sensuality is where Anne's poetry soars. This collection, while steeped in the Southern tradition, is also about soulful transcendence." —Tembi Locke, actor, advocate, and author of From Scratch
Grow with Me Poetry
Grow with Me Poetry uses poetry as a means of introducing children and early teens to the practice of mindfulness. In Grow with Me Poetry, you will find both a primer on mindfulness and basic meditation techniques, as well as a guide to incorporating that practice into your daily life. Through unique interactive exercises and discussion prompts, adults and children alike will have the opportunity to engage, to converse, to learn about each other, and ultimately, to grow. This book is sure to become a treasured keepsake on any family’s bookshelf!
I Just Met a Dinosaur!
written by Helen L. Williamson
illustrated by Nancy Taylor Atkins
If you met a dinosaur, what would you do?
Play hide-and-seek or go to the zoo?
Who knows if their skin was pink, purple, or blue?
Or if they squawked, roared, or mooed?
Did they polish their nails and feathers and scales,
And sharpen their teeth with the ends of their tails?
When you open this book of dinosaur rhymes,
You’ll meet some of those creatures from long-ago times!
The Land of Opposite Attractions
by Catherine Carson
From debut poet Catherine Carson comes an examination of everyday life, as seen through the lens of a mentally ill young woman navigating her twenties. Full of persistent optimism and honesty, this collection celebrates the tragedy and beauty to be found, not only in the world around us, but in the worlds we carry within ourselves.
A Long View from Sandy Hooks Pine Grove
Virginia’s River Country is a region where life moves a little slower and the simple pleasures are king. It’s a land of daffodils and farming families, fishermen and local legend, artisans and community pride—a place where the trees tell stories and a flat tire draws good Samaritans like flies to honey. And nobody captures the unique flavor of the region like Ruby Lee Norris, a lifelong resident who memorialized the towns, people and traditions of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula in the pages of Pleasant Living magazine for twenty years. Peppered with down-home humor and folk wisdom, this collection of forty-five essays represents a range of her contributions, including historical accounts, community profiles, gardening tips, recipes and poems. From her birthplace in Hartfield, Virginia, to her home at Sandy Hook’s Pine Grove in the town of Topping, Ruby Lee enjoyed a full life, a rich heritage and a long, priceless view of the Land of Pleasant Living.
The Nest: An Anthology of the Unreal
compiled by Jade Miller and Christine Stoddard
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, the Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts, history, folklore and other oddities through a variety of fiction and nonfiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite short stories and poems from 2010 - 2012.
Pirates and Spooks, Beware!
written by Susan Weiner
illustrated by Bobbie Kogok
Shiver me timbers! Pirates and parrots, mummies and mermaids—get ready for these fun and funky creatures to tickle your funny bone and send a chill down your spine! Between the lines of these eerie poems, a lady pirate fights her battles in stolen ball gowns, a cannibal decides to become a vegetarian, and a ghost hitches a ride in the family car. You’d better get started: it’s all hands on deck!
PRAISE FOR PIRATES AND SPOOKS, BEWARE!
“Pirates and Spooks, Beware! is a collection of refreshingly fun, funny, and sometimes rascally poems, sure to delight elementary and middle school readers (and their teachers)! This entertaining collection of works from clever and talented poet Susan Weiner lends itself to enjoyable reading and a deeper study of poetic conventions, all the while providing subtle vocabulary, geography, history, and even meteorology lessons. Each poem reads equally well both silently and aloud, and could also provide a wonderful ‘old school’ memorization activity at the end of the unit of study. (Slam poetry, anyone?!) These rhyming poems appeal to the reader while telling a story in the most charming way. The lovely illustrations make them come alive, and thanks to Ms. Weiner’s incredible imagination, we walk away smiling, thinking surely, ‘Why, pirates (and spooks) are just like us!’ Arghhh, matey . . . ENJOY!”
~ Pat Talbert Smith, former Head of St. Francis Episcopal Day School and former Lower School Head/Assistant Head of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD
“Many areas of study have been lost or seriously curtailed in the push to include the latest technology into classrooms across the country. One of these areas is poetry. Children do not read, study, or memorize much poetry as they have in past generations. Susan Weiner is doing her part in trying to alleviate this gap through this little volume of pirate poetry. Most kids go through a ‘pirate phase’ in their lives, and these poems capture the essence of the pirate lore quite fancifully. The fact that they also employ rhythm and rhyme are icing on the cake and serve to provide instruction in one of the basic skills of early literacy. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the drama and intrigue of pirates!”
~ Carol Parent, learning specialist and former school administrator and classroom teacher
Roads Taken is a collection of some of Tucker Carwile’s favorite poems. They were selected because they show the roads he has taken, whether right or wrong, and express the emotional range of a life well lived. Written over a period of years, this collection of work is the expression of his true vocation. These are poems of sorrow and pain, battles and spirituality, the loss of friends, the beauty of nature, humor reminiscent of the past, changes over time, and love and joy found. Tucker’s decision to pursue a career instead of following his passion for writing led him down many roads away from poetry, and away from his true soul mate. The fifth and powerful final section of poems, “Roads to Happiness,” captures the long-awaited reunion with his beloved. After traveling miles of roads, they both ultimately discover the true contentment that only real devotion can give.
Seven Songs for Seven Dogs
written by L. Meredith Averitt, DVM
illustrated by Maegan Penley
As a veterinarian and lifelong animal lover, Meredith always knew she’d have dogs. But seven? It turns out that when it comes to a family of wriggling, happy dachshunds (and their poodle big brother), more really is merrier. In Seven Songs for Seven Dogs, you’ll get to know Lexi, Topher, Caddie, Carly, Sera, Chester, and Grady; gain a glimpse into the world of dog showing; and delight in seven silly songs inspired by this canine crew.
Short Pump Bump!
A lyrical, spherical, rhyming romp through Richmond's treasured locales
written by Angie Miles
illustrated by Scott DuBar, with photographs by Angie Miles
Just about anywhere you go in Virginia’s capital city, you find history, beauty, and interesting stories just waiting to be told. Whether you read the sweet, silly, and poignant collection of poetry on your own or share it aloud with little ones dear to you, Short Pump Bump! will entice you to play a little, smile a little, and forevermore see the place Richmonders call home in a new and endearing way.
The Song of Circe and Other Simple Musings
Twilit dreamscapes unfold across J. Matthew Helms’ debut collection of poetry, revealing new worlds beyond the veils of myth. From the shores of Valhalla to the great halls of Mount Olympus, these unique poems guide the reader through the mists of time and legend like a lantern, casting tales of the old gods in a new light. Interwoven with themes of earthly nature and celestial warfare, The Song of Circe reflects the joy and sorrow—the pain and healing—the love and disdain that define the human soul, beckoning us to explore within ourselves the darkest corners of our oldest legends.
Virginia Leaf: Ballads, Odes, Lyrics, Stanzas & Lines in Three Books
The poet's foreword says he began all this on one fine day. It must have been finer than morning in an adjacent state by the looks of the result. What a sweep! What a breadth! What a memory! Who's left out here? Nobody I know. Virginia is 475 miles long but averages half that, which means here we have about one page per mile of her right across.
THE POLECAT PRIZE
RAN OFF ALL OTHERS
Some versifier came and sowed
many a thunderation ode.
This got the Golden Polecat Prize,
the one that draws the market flies,
awarding a chief excellence
that chases all the others hence;
puts to shame and in the shade
the Armadillo Accolade,
and that eternal charnel foist
so-called the yearly critics' choist.
It strands our thunderation moot
what's really worth a second hoot.
For some 'twill always be roast beef,
but, after that, Virginia leaf.